I often have days when I’m driven to distraction by one or all of my kids and this day was one of those.
First of all it was sports day for the nursery class – my twins, O and H’s first ever sports day. I wasn’t looking forward to it in the slightest because my shy little boys had NOT enjoyed or joined in once during PE focus week which was supposed to get them ready in the lead up to this day, a Friday. Seeing the heavens open and the rain pouring down on our way to school just seemed to solidify my negative thoughts; I had a bad feeling about this!
I had some other things to do first though. Oh yes. I had a pretty packed couple of hours yet before sports day which inconveniently was at 11am -12pm on a school day, whereby parents were expected to drop everything so as to accommodate this weird time slot without question. O and H usually attend nursery 9 -11.30. Surely sports day should’ve been within this time, no? Ordinarily it wouldn’t really matter to me anyway because I’m a SAHM but this morning I had a meeting with a teacher at my Teen’s school at 9.10am which had been arranged for over a month. Once I’d realised that nursery sports day wouldn’t start until 11am on this day (which incidentally we were only informed of about a week before) and meant I would have the twins with me I tried to rearrange, but said teacher was busy for the next few days and this meeting couldn’t really be delayed so had to go ahead. I don’t have anyone to have my twins for me for half an hour, well that’s not entirely true, there ARE a couple of people that would happily have them but my twins don’t like staying with anyone else, ever, so I knew I’d have to take them with me.
This funny time slot for sports day also confused my boys no end. They were up in the morning as usual and dressed (in red as this was their ‘team’ colour). We did the school run as normal for my daughter but they couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting out of the car!! ‘Are we not going to school today mummy?!!” was the repetitive question all the way to school even though every single time I answered with ‘yes you are but a bit later for sports day” and “we’ve just got to do a few things first” – they were still non the wiser and repeated their question for the umpteenth time. Then when it finally sunk in and they understood that we were going to their big brothers school so that mummy could talk to his teacher, O told me in no uncertain terms that he did NOT want to go in and see this teacher! Great! “Don’t worry, we only have to go for 10 mins you can sit on my lap” I suggested….
But he was having none of it. Being terribly shy, neither of my boys like being near anyone new, or worse still, anyone that might be inclined to say hello to them – god forbid!!!! This is the absolute worst thing you can do when first meeting my twins – ignoring them completely is always best. Bless them but I have no patience for this right now, I thought.
Then the whinging started. Now, being on a very tight schedule, I could feel my stress levels beginning to rise! O is refusing to get out of the car once we arrive at my sons school and it is exactly the time of my meeting so we need to go in NOW!!!!!!!
Stay calm. Stay calm, I tell myself. O is digging his heels in and setting off H who is also refusing to get out now. What do I do? Drag them out?!! Of course I can’t…could you imagine walking into a teachers office dragging two 3 yr year olds who are kicking and screaming? No, that’s not a good idea – I wouldn’t hear a word she said for a start! (hehe)
After a few minutes and some bribing of some sort O thankfully changed his little stubborn mind and agreed to come in. Well thank you so much! In O and H’s defence they behaved impeccably whilst in the school so all was forgiven. For now. The meeting lasted slightly longer than anticipated so it was a mad rush then to Toys R Us to buy a present for a little girl who’s party they were going to after sports day… Nothing like leaving it to the last minute is there?!!! Not to self: must get presents BEFORE the actual party day in future.
Present buying had to be done in ultra quick time but of course O and H wanted to get the bikes and scooters out and ride round the store (like they usually do when I’ve got all the time in the world!!). I ended up allowing them to get a scooter each whilst I wondered off to find a present. Grab a monster high doll…that’ll do even though she’s only 3. Is that suitable? Is it a little scary? Oh I haven’t got time to worry…run to the till whilst trying to locate my twins who are riding around the store unsupervised somewhere. Find them but they don’t want to put the scooters back – of course they don’t!!!!! Aargh – no time for this we have to get to school for sports day in the p***ing rain. Surely it will be cancelled I think – or at least it will be in the hall?!
No. Manage to get to school and the sports day activities are all set up for the kiddies on the field. The waterlogged field. Parents are moaning no end, including me. “It’s just a bit of water, it won’t kill them” was teachers upbeat response! She’s right of course, but I didn’t want to stand there getting soaked thank you very much! The Reception kids who were also having sports day that morning WERE moved into hall…. go figure!
Then the tiny little nursery children are brought out and I think I did the stupidest thing ever. I WAVED at my boys. Big mistake. As soon as they saw me they cried! They wanted me and it all went downhill from there. They lined up but I could see them upset and looking at me, so what do I do? Of course I make mistake number two. I went over. The rain was pouring down and it was pretty chilly. They didn’t want to join in and were literally clinging on to me as if I was about to push them out to the feeding lions or something!
I tried the nicey nicey approach, to persuade them to join in but they just continued to cry. I was standing with my boys with the rest of the kids while all the other parents were stood at the other end where they should be, cameras at the ready. We were getting wet and I was getting annoyed so I tried saying really unhelpful things like “everyone’s looking at you..you’re the only ones not joining in…..this is really naughty….you’re letting the team down…”. How horrible is that? Still feeling a bit guilty about the lack of good parenting skills there!
I then had to push the humiliation of the whole episode to one side to suggest that I do the little races WITH them. O was having none of it, continuing to sulk, but H agreed so there I was, collecting beanbags and throwing them in hoops whilst holding H’s hand with one hand and trying to hold my umbrella under my chin!!!! H did this whilst still crying by the way, poor little sod but at least he joined in and did SOMETHING.
I couldn’t wait for it to finish. When it did I had some sympathetic looks and knowing nods from the other parents. They were probably feeling somewhat pleased that it wasn’t them having to deal with this though.
My poor boys cried the whole way back to the classroom whereby the teacher said I might as well take them home. Yes I agreed. But we weren’t going home we were going to a party – how fun is that going to be?!!!!
The party was at an indoor play centre and my twins were ok playing on the climbing frames and soft play areas but seem to have an irrational fear of the party room! They won’t go in. Again this stems from their shyness. We went to a very big party once a while ago where all the WORLD seemed to be crammed into this party room and lots of scary parents were ‘looking’ at the children eating (this is my twins perception anyway)… this has put them off. O is worse. He refused to go in even to take his shoes off so I knew I would have a problem getting him to go in and eat. This party was a friend of mine’s daughter so at least it wasn’t STRANGE parents going in and she only had a few children there so it wasn’t too bad. But no, he stood outside.
I managed to get H to sit at the table. By this point in my day (it’s only about 1.30pm) I’m tired and drained and I don’t want another battle with O. He is putting up some severe resistance. I just want him to be ‘normal’ and join in like all the other kids but he won’t and I can feel my blood starting to boil again…..Deep breaths…. count to 10!
But I feel for him. It’s not his fault. He’s not being naughty, I can feel his pain from his shyness so I composed myself and tried to gently coax him into sitting on my lap at the party table. Of course I’m the only parent sitting at the table meant for kids but I don’t mind. He is happier, still cringing a little because he’s in such close proximity to a few children he doesn’t know, but at least he’s there.
Party finished and I had to rush off to get my Girl from school. My boys fell fast asleep as soon as we got in the car, exhausted from their stressful day.
Not as stressful as mine though. I was pleased to get home I can tell you.Carolynne x